Musican’s life from other person’s sight might see just great. You just sing/play at concerts, have fun, get paid, everybody loves you, your job doesn’t start every day at 8 o’clock and there are no annoying co-workers. That’s what everyone sees and thinks. The truth is a lot different than that. Here are 7 things professional musicans will never tell you.
1. They didn’t fall in love with what they do from the very beginning. At least most of them. Playing an instrument or singing isn’t a fun game. It takes a lot of practice & patience before you learn something that you can play/sing without everyone in the room frowning. It takes at least four years until musican is able to perform good enough and knows what to do and what not to do.
2. It takes as much energy as every other job. The fact that you don’t move around all the time or use chemistry or math in everyday life, doesn’t mean you don’t work that hard. Musicans learn to control their bodies in first place. If you don’t do a certain thing, it won’t sound they way it should sound. Learning how to use and move hands, fingers and other body parts takes a lot of time (months, years).
3. Yes, they thought about quitting way too many times. Being a musican isn’t all pink and rosy. There’s always someone better than you, someone you have to compete with, so you might have moments when you think you can’t do it and you’re not good enough. You might lack energy or/and inspiration or/and knowledge and get stuck. You might constantly be put down by teachers and other better (?) musicans. It really hurts and destroys every wish to continue what you were doing.
4. They have to work a A LOT and it’s even more tiring than, for example, being a cashier in a shop. No offense but it’s kinda true. Professional musicans need to work from 6 to 12 hours a day mostly with their brain. Besides, we don’t have holidays at all. It doesn’t matter if it’s Tuesday or Sunday, it still means working at least 6 hours until we drop. You already know, how hard is to be a student. Now imagine, how it is to study music. Tiring, so damn tiring.
5. They don’t listen to classical (or whatever gendre music they perform) all the time and they don’t always love it. Surprise to you, huh? But it’s true. The fact that we are, for example, classical musicans, doesn’t mean that we love all classical music, that we think that all orchestra music is so brilliant etc. You can easily find classical musican in a rock, country or folk music concert. Because it’s not as much about the music as it is about the way it’s performed. The style of the music doesn’t matter, matters, how much of your soul you put into it.
6. Not all contests are fair and show, how good musican someone is. Once more I made sure of it today. Almost got disqualified because I didn’t fit in time limit and my performance was few minutes too long (including pause between pieces and time when I was tuning my guitar). Instead of being disqualified from the contest (which cost me 15 euros just to participate plus living and travelling costs), I lost three points and get no place. It’s all because time not because my performance was bad. There are also contests with big prices run for musicans that are familiar with jury. The rest of us aren’t even able to participate, ignoring the fact that this contest counts as international.
7. You need to be emotional, yet a little tough and with strong character to survive in music world. If you’re not emotional, you won’t be able to perform good enough and move the audience. If you’re not tough enough, you won’t survive, will give up and cry somewhere in the corner. That’s the coin with two sides – it’s hard to be both of those things. A lot of people can’t do it and give up forever.
Now, when I shocked you and scared you to death, I want to tell than in the end it’s worth it. There’s nothing better than the feeling after a great performance, hearing the applause and thinking: “I really did it.” I remember the first time I played with chamber orchestra. That was unforgettable, one of the most beautiful moments in my whole life. Maybe it’s worth to go through hell I described before, if later a lot of people will admire the music we perform. Not everyone can be great musican and only strongest ones of those, who have knowledge, passion and patience, can become great musicans. For me it’s the only way I will finally be able to prove myself and the whole world that I am special. With my guitar in hands I feel powerful and I’m not that little girl with low self esteem, I always felt like I was. I finally am brave, unique and I will get the whole world to see me and listen to the music I perform. Just watch me.
xoxo, Porcelain Doll.